Renovating for Profit

by Kristen

I've been working on a design for an investment property. The clients have owned the apartment for a number of years now and it is dated but still in great working order. They want to optimise their sales opportunity without spending a crazy amount of money. So how do we do it?

Study the Market

First, study the market. Spend time trawling through the local real estate magazines and internet sites looking at resent sales. Keep in mind the location of the property, the number of bedrooms and the outlook. All these factors contribute to the final sale price and the true value of your property. By studying the market and knowing your buying and selling costs, you'll get a good understanding of how much money you have to invest in renovating your property for sale.

What Improvements value add?

You'd be lucky to find an agent that doesn't tell you kitchens are a major factor in value adding to your property. Beautiful kitchens sell a home. They are the heart of Australian living. We love open plan and kitchens are an integral part of this. The trick with kitchens is layout and finishes. If you already have a good layout in your kitchen, look at just changing the cupboard doors or handles. A little make over without pulling out the whole kitchen works amazingly.


If you have a tight budget than my number one recommendation would be to paint. It will make the tiredest of homes look incredible, not to mention it's something you can do yourself. If you're unsure of colours, buy a few sample pots and paint patches on your walls. You'll soon find your favourite colour. I would definitely stick to neutrals when selling, they appeal to a broad market and make a house feel fresh and homely.

It's not your 'forever' home

Just remember the property you are renovating is not your 'forever' home. I find this the trickiest part in renovating for profit. I will find an amazing marble carrara tile and know it will look fabulous, but will the cost of that tile turn into profit? If you are wise with your selections, it doesn't have to be expensive. Take a simple subway tile, rather than laying them in the traditional brick format how about getting your tiler to stack them on top of each other in a vertical form or turning the occasional tile horizontal. Playing with the layout of your tiles can be a lot of fun and not expensive. It will give your kitchen or bathroom character without costing you a fortune.


I would definitely recommend saving some money for styling. We live in a world of social media. People are seeing beautiful homes on Instagram and Pinterest all the time and want their new home to look that way. By spending money on styling not only will your real estate photos stand out from the crowd, but buyers will see what they can live in when they walk into your property. Styling will add the finishing touches to all the hard work you've done in preparing your house for sale.

Know your target market

My final recommendation is to know your target market and buy and sell accordingly. A four bedroom house with level access and close to amenities is profitable. People want ease of living and if you are purely buying to flip then this is prime real estate. If you already have real estate, consider the needs of your buyer. Tailor your renovations to suit your market. Families for instance want three to four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a layout that allows easy sight of the children. Retirees on the other hand want easy access and often single level living. Get this right and your investment property will turn into profit.

Understanding your suburb, the market you are selling in and getting your hands dirty will pay off in the world of renovating for profit. And most of all enjoy, renovating for profit can be a lot of fun if you let it!




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